BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Chinese Vietnamese Burmese Thai Indonesian
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Asia-Pacific  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 12:24 GMT
E Timor militia leader convicted
Indonesian-backed militias on the rampage in 1999
At least 1,000 died in Indonesian-backed violence
A former pro-Jakarta militia leader, Eurico Guterres, has been found guilty of crimes against humanity over a 1999 massacre in East Timor, and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Guterres was found guilty of leading an attack on the home of a pro-independence campaigner in which 12 people were killed.

Former militia chief Eurico Guterres waves upon arriving for his court appearance in Jakarta, 27 November 2002.
Eurico Guterres is usually seen in military fatigues
He will not be jailed immediately because Indonesia's legal system allows him to remain at liberty pending an appeal, which could take years.

The sentence is the heaviest handed down by Indonesia's special human rights tribunal.

The BBC's Jonathan Head at the court in Jakarta, said Guterres reacted with some emotion, declaring he would appeal against the sentence and should not spend even a day in prison.

At least 1,000 civilians were killed when pro-Jakarta militias went on the rampage before, during and after East Timor's August 1999 vote to break away from Indonesian rule.

Massacre

The evidence against 28-year-old Guterres was very strong.


I never have regrets about what I did

Eurico Guterres

There were 11 witnesses to what several television cameras also recorded. On 17 April 1999, Guterres urged his militia members to kill pro-independence activists and then led an attack on the home of one in which 12 people were killed.

On Wednesday Guterres said he was a patriotic Indonesian who was only defending his country.

"I never have regrets about what I did," he told reporters before the hearing.

Guterres is one of 18 defendants - most of them Indonesian military officers - who were charged over the East Timor violence.

In widely criticised verdicts, the tribunal has so far acquitted six officers including the former East Timor police chief.

Former provincial governor Abilio Soares was sentenced to just three years in prison.

Our correspondent says Guterres arrived at court on Wednesday morning without his usual swaggering self-confidence.

Gone were the military fatigues and nationalist symbols he once liked to wear. This time, he was dressed in a sober suit.

There were none of the noisy crowds of supporters who attended earlier hearings. And none of his military allies who had once nurtured him as a protégé were in court, either.

East Timor became fully independent in May following a transitional period in which it was run by the United Nations.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Jonathan Head
"Guterres could stay out of jail for years"
The BBC's Ian MacWilliam
"Human rights groups say the judicial process was flawed from the start"
Maria Christiana Carashcalao, victim's sister
"This is a very unfair verdict"

Key stories

Independence day

Background

Key people

TALKING POINT

FORUM
See also:

27 Nov 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
15 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
14 Aug 02 | Asia-Pacific
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Asia-Pacific stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes